The Directorate of Labour's Bullying and Harassment Policy
The Directorate of Labour’s employee’s should treat their co-workers with courtesy and respect in communication. Bullying and sexual harassment will not under any circumstances be tolerated in the directorate’s workplaces. Employees’ participation in harassment is condemned.
The directorate’s definition of what bullying and sexual harassment is according to regulation no. 1000/2004, which stipulates in Article 3:
Bullying: Offensive or repetitive unwarranted conduct, i.e. act or behaviour with the intent to humiliate, belittle, offend, hurt, discriminate or threaten and cause distress to those it is directed to. This includes sexual harassment and other mental or physical abuse.
Managers are not only responsible for employees’ work, but also that the basic principles of communication in the workplace are respected. New employees are introduced to the directorate’s policy and reaction plan in harassment cases immediately after they commence employment.
The policy and the reaction plan is reviewed on a regular basis in staff meetings.
Disputes and conflicts of interest which cause discomfort can occur in workplaces. It is important to contact the immediate supervisor or union steward in order to resolve such disputes without delay before they worsen.
False accusations about harassment will be handled with the same firmness as harassment in general.
If harassment charges emerge, victims should contact their immediate supervisor. It is possible to seek assistance from two other parties if the supervisor is the offender or ignores the problem (see next chapter). These parties must show the victim the utmost confidentiality.
The Directorate of Labour will take action against employees who bully others, for instance by giving a warning, employee transfer or dismissal. Serious incidents will possibly be charged after consulting the victim. The offender in bullying cases will be held responsible.
Employees who are victims of bullying or sexual harassment should turn to their immediate supervisor and report the incident. It is possible to turn to two other parties to confide in if the immediate supervisor is the offender in the matter, or does not attend to it.
When a supervisor or the directorate’s union stewards gain knowledge of the bullying, they must react according to the following reaction plan. The victim’s need for acute support is immediately evaluated and given. Solving the problem as soon as possible and preventing further bullying will be emphasized.
The directorate's supervisors and union stewards are ready to discuss the alleged harassment in the workplace with employees.
The person who is contacted then decides, after consulting with the victim, what the next step will be. It is possible to choose between formal and informal procedures.
Such procedure involves asking the victims for information and giving them support by providing confidential conversation or counselling. Others in the workplace are not informed about the case.
An objective examination of the case will be made by an unaffiliated independent person. The matter will be discussed with the victim, the offender, and others who can provide information about it. It is important to seek information on timing and obtain data if there is any, such as emails, text messages or other information.
A solution will be found which can for instance involve changes in the workplace, principles or work organization. Offenders will receive guidance and a warning, they could also be transferred to another job.
The case will be followed up on and after a certain time, and the matter will be discussed with the persons involved. Communication between the persons involved will be observed.
If offenders do not change their behaviour and maintain the bullying, it will lead to their dismissal according to the Government Employees Act no. 70/1996.